Peugeot Cars Are Among Europe's Oldest Automobiles

    Peugeot cars are made by PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA), a French automobile and motorcycle manufacturer; these are sold under the Peugeot and Citroën marques. The PSA Peugeot Citroën is owned by Peugeot S.A. holding company.

    In 1974 Peugeot SA acquired a 38.2% share of Citroën. In 1976 they increased their stake of the now bankrupt company to 89.95%, thus creating the PSA Group (where PSA is short for Peugeot Société Anonyme, later to be changed to PSA Peugeot Citroën). Since Citroën had two successful new designs in the market at this time (the GS and CX) and Peugeot was typically prudent in its own finances, the PSA venture was a financial success from 1976 to 1979. In 1979, PSA purchased the aging assets of Chrysler Europe for USD $1 billion, leading to losses for the consortium from 1980 to 1985. During this period, PSA lost its traditional competitive footing in the executive car market and has never recovered.
    Peugeot cars and Citroen cars retained their separate sales and marketing structures, but have benefited from a common technology, development and assembling assets.

    PSA is actively committed to develop its market presence and sales in many fast growing developing countries and regions of the world. This led to huge investments and partnerships in South America, Iran (Iran Khodro) and China (Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën Automobile).

    Jean-Martin Folz was PSA's CEO between 1996 and early 2007, when he was replaced by former Airbus head Christian Streiff.

    The factory (also known as the Ryton Plant) is wedged between the A45 (on the northeast) and the A423 (on the southwest), on the south-eastern outskirts of Coventry, in Warwickshire, England. The southeast of the grounds of the factory borders upon Ryton-on-Dunsmore.

    The factory was originally constructed to build aircraft engines during World War II. After the war it became the headquarters of the Rootes Group, but when Rootes entered financial difficulties in the 1960's the plant was taken over by Chrysler, an American car manufacturer . Chrysler itself entered financial difficulties and sold the plant for a symbolic US $1.00 to Peugeot in 1978; although, PSA Peugeot Citroën acquired all its debt in the process.

    The first Peugeot cars to be built at the plant were the 309 in late 1985. The larger 405 followed two years later. The 309's successor, the 306, was made at Ryton from 1993 to 2001. The 206 has been made there since 1998, and the 206 SW has been made at Ryton since 2002. The plant has only made vehicles from the 206 range since 2001, in both RHD and LHD configurations and was the sole production facility of RHD Peugeot 206s (excluding the CC). Despite this most Peugeot 206s are produced in France.

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    (The latest news about Peugeot is the plan to buy GM's Opel and Vauxhall's brands to become Europe's second largest carmaker).

    The Peugeot cars factory was small in relation to other car plants with a work force of around 2,500 people; the plant's weekly output was equivalent to that produced in a day at some of Peugeot's larger French factories. Because of its size, the facility had to make the most of the available space and machinery was located overhead.

    On April 18, 2006 Jean-Martin Folz, the then chief executive of Peugeot Citroën, visited the plant and announced its closure. PSA had previously said that labour costs per unit were higher at Ryton than in mainland Europe. Beginning July 2006 production was slowed by moving from two shifts per day to one. PSA Peugeot Citroën produced their last car at the plant on 12 December 2006. The plant closed in January 2007 with the loss of about 2,300 jobs.

    PSA holds a collaboration agreement with Fiat known as Sevel (Société Européenne de Véhicules Légers SpA, owned 50% by Fiat, 25% by Automobiles Peugeot and 25% by Automobiles Citroën). As a result of this, two factories have been built assembling three ranges of vehicles, Sevel Nord and Sevel Sud.

    There is a more recent agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation for the development and manufacturing of a series of peugeot cars in a new factory in the Czech Republic. The resulting company is called TPCA (Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile) and it currently manufactures the Citroën C1, Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo.

    There is also a new agreement with PSA and BMW; the new Prince engines designed by this joint venture will replace current PSA's TU engine family.

    In 2005, PSA Peugeot Citroën formed an alliance with Mitsubishi Motors. Under the deal, PSA Peugeot Citroën will import the Citroën C-Crosser and Peugeot 4007 for sale in Europe. Those two models are based on the Mitsubishi Outlander, and will be assembled at Mitsubishi's plant in Okazaki, Japan. Engine choices will include PSA Peugeot Citroën's diesel engines and Mitsubishi's petrol engines.

    PSA also supplies Ford with a 1.6l Diesel engine used in the Ford Focus and the Volvo S40.

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